Derek DeYoung Art

Artist Derek DeYoung’s work has veered off from the traditional fish illustration style. His paintings are contemporary, placing more importance on using a unique style and palette rather than painting a fish to look photo realistic.

“I used to think that Derek was an extremely talented artist. Then we went fishing. Now I’m not sure whether he’s an angler with a brush or an artist with a fly rod. Either way, there are not many people in the world able to combine the two geniuses as well as he does. Even my non-fishing friends (there are a few) are captivated by his work….” Read Jim’s story & more

Q: What was your goal once you realized that your art really appealed to the fly fishing audience?
A: “When I first got into the fly fishing world, my goal was to bring something new to the table. I have no illusions that I am the best painter out there, but I think I am one of the more creative artists. I want to bring you something fresh and new everytime. That was a challenge in the beginning of my career, because fresh and new is not always welcome. I had people tell me to take a hike and that I will never be embraced by the fly fishing world.  This caused me to work harder. Now, bright and fresh is the norm in the fly fishing industry. I am proud to have been part of that movement.”

Q: How is your artwork evolving from where you started out?
A: “With my fish art, I try to find a whole new angle to it. Any artist that isn’t looking at new challenges and how to broaden their skill set isn’t growing. The goal here for me is to be an old man who has experienced many interesting things in life through his passion for painting. These new challenges don’t always translate into what I might sell more of per say.   But to develop my own style in painting fish and riverscapes is important.  It is so inspiring to me….chasing trout in some of the northern Rockies most beautiful rivers and lakes, I often set the rod down, and consider the scene in front of me, not in how to best fish it, but how to best paint it.”


Q: What makes you want to paint fish?
A:”I am always seeking out the beauty in life and in the world, searching for that magical experience or vision that will inspire me to paint at a higher level. The act of pursuing trout and steelhead with a fly rod contains so many of these magical moments. For me the truly inspirational vision, both as an artist and as an angler, comes once I’ve landed a particularly beautiful fish. I hold it up, tilting the fish back and forth in the sunlight, allowing all the subtle colors and patterns to come alive. I find fish so interesting and they are truly a challenge to capture on canvas. When I paint a fish, I try to capture all the intricacies they possess, their scales, patterns, dimension and texture.”


Watch videos of Artist Derek DeYoung painting